A Life with Answered Prayers

Many people in the world pray but not many people have the assurance that their prayers are being heard and answered. There is an incredible peace when one has the assurance that their prayers are being heard by the Lord and He is answering one’s prayers. Sadly, many people only pray to themselves, like the religious man in the story that Jesus told.

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

He wasn’t even praying to the Lord but rather musing to himself and only thinking that he was praying. Often our prayers are more of us thinking to ourselves about a situation rather than truly laying the situation at the feet of Jesus and allowing Him to take care of the matter. We may even be in church and during the prayers our mind is wondering to what we will be doing later on. Neither of these scenarios is true prayer. Prayer is talking to the Lord and He delights in the prayers of His people.

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

The Lord finds no pleasure in the sacrifices and prayers of the wicked. They are an abomination to Him but the prayer of the upright is His delight. Even more than His hatred of the prayers of the wicked is His hatred of the sacrifices of the wicked when they have evil intentions. Some of the evil intentions may be that we want to look good in the eyes of others or even that we may go to church for the purpose of making business contacts or any other pretentious reason that we may have.

Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!

No, rather the Lord wants us to humble ourselves before Him that He might have mercy on us, for we are all great sinners and in need of a great Savior. The other man that went to pray at the same time as the religious man was heard for his true piety.

Luke 18:10-14 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Yes, the one who admitted that he was a sinner and asked for God’s mercy was heard and received the mercy he asked for from the Lord. In the same way, the Lord will hear His people when we turn from our wicked ways and we humble ourselves before Him.

II Chronicles 7:14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

An excellent example of someone whom the Lord heard was Ezra.

Ezra 10:1 Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly.

The Lord will gather His people together when they seek His face and pray to Him. He will draw near to them as they draw near to the Lord. He will hear their prayers and answer them when they truly humble themselves before Him.

James 4:8-10 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Listens and Hears

There is a difference between listening and hearing. A child can listen to what you are saying but they don’t hear what you are saying. If you are a mother or a teacher then you fully understand this concept. The Lord said over and over again, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The Lord makes it very clear what is going to happen. He also is telling us to not only listen but to hear what He is saying. How blessed will be those who heard Him.

Matthew 13:41-43 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

The Lord tells us that not only should we be prepared for Him when He comes again but we need to be careful to not compromise His standards during the time of our stay on earth. Again, He says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

Luke 14:34,35 Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

God’s Word is given to us to change our lives and not just for us to talk about it. How easy it is to talk about God’s Word but not let it infiltrate every area of our lives. The Lord wants us to obey His Word and not just gain knowledge of His Word with it having no effect on our lives.

Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

God’s Word is like a hammer and how much we need it to break open our hearts so that we can hear what He has to say, rather than just listen to the words.

John 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Before we came to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we were dead spiritually and it is only when we hear Him and respond to His voice that we come to life spiritually. God’s Word has the power to give life and those who receive His Words by faith receive that life, which is in Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:16,17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear”, Jesus says to all and how blessed are all who hear His Word and comes to the Lord in a saving faith. They receive eternal life, they do not come into judgment and they pass out of death into life.

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

 

 

 

A Life Free of Snags and Snares

There are two things that will hold us back from fulfilling the purposes of our life and they are snags and snares. A snag is something that is beyond our control but will be an obstacle to achieving our purpose in life. A snare is a trap that ensnares us and is something that will hold us back.

Proverbs 13:14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn aside from the snares of death.

Wisdom will help you recognize the snares so that you can turn aside from them rather than fall into the snares of death.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

When a person fears the Lord then they will avoid the snares of death. They will stay away from the paths where the snares are hidden traps to ensnare the foolish who walk along the paths that lead to death.

Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards himself will be far from them.

A perverse person is one who is perverted in their thinking and one expression of a perverted person is that they will use curse words. Guard your mouth and your will protect yourself. One of the first ways that children learn to rebel is in their language. When you have children never allow them to use curse words. Children are attracted to other children by the language they use, whether it is pure or perverted.

Proverbs 17:20 He who has a crooked mind finds no good, And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil.

The only way that your children will never use perverted language is if they never hear it. Do you ever use curse words or watch movies with curse words? You may think that this is not important but young men are attracted to a lady whose speech is gracious rather than perverted. A man and a woman who will make a good marriage will not use curse words.

Proverbs 22:11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

Fearing the Lord and not using curse words go together. The person who fears the Lord will be careful in their speech and even more than that, they will be careful what they listen to, knowing that the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.

Snags in life are situations that we have no control over but they hold us back. What do you do about snags? Well, to those who love the Lord, the snag is something that will allow them to see His power and His love for them. He can and will remove it if that is His will. He is greater than all and will not allow anything to happen that will prevent His will and plan from being accomplished in your life. He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

The Lord wants us to walk by faith and trust Him. He will accomplish His purposes in our life and when He removes the snags it will be His confirmation that this is something that He wants to accomplish.

Job 42:2 I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

Give thanks to the Lord for the snag for he wants you to trust Him. There is nothing impossible with Him.

Matthew 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Man’s impossiblities are God’s opportunities. Trust Him and see His salvation. He delights in showing His glory.

John 11:40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

Jesus is saying the same thing to us today, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” Is there something that is holding you back that is our of your control? Thank the Lord for it and be still and know that He is God. He will be exalted in your life, for He is God. He will accomplish the purposes for which He created you.

Psalm 46:10 “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

 

 

 

 

 

A Life with a Purpose

When a young person loses hope they quit dreaming and when they quit dreaming then they quit living and are only existing. The Lord has so much in store for each person and He gives a life purpose and direction. How do we know His purpose for our life and how do we accomplish our potential. Living life to the fullest is becoming all that you can be and reaching your full potential in life. How do we know our purpose in life and fulfill it? The word purpose means: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Not all accept the purpose for which they were created.

Luke 7:30a But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves,

Jesus knew His purpose in the details for which He was sent.

Luke 4:43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”

Jesus knew His overall purpose for which He came.

John 12:27 Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

It is only in Christ that you can discover your purpose. Life is far more than eating and sleeping and work. Apart from the Lord you will just “go through life” without real meaning. If you want to know God’s purpose for your life, in the details and particular purpose just for you, then you must follow God’s purpose for you in the His general purposes for you and everyone else. Humans are the only aspect of creation who have not followed God’s purpose for which they were created. What are the basic purposes?

I Peter 2:20b,21 But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

The first step in discovering God’s purpose for your life is to do what is right in what He has already revealed to you to be His will. Is there anything that has been left undone that He has told you to do? Why should the Lord make known anything else to you if you are not doing what He has already shown you?

I Timothy 4:7 On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

God’s purpose for you is to be godly and to discipline yourself for this purpose. How are you doing in your own personal discipline? If you are lazy and indulging yourself for your own comfort then why should He make known to you His purpose for you? It is easier to direct a moving vehicle than one which is sitting by the road. Are you going about and leading a disciplined life by doing what you already know what you should be doing or are you waiting until He shows you what He wants you to do? Get moving doing what you already know to do.

I Thessalonians 4:7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

The Lord has called us to be pure. Are you reading and listening to things that you should not be paying attention to? What is your music like? Music is often a general expression of the heart. Does it feed your fleshly desires? Why should the Lord show you His will if you are allowing garbage to go into your mind?

Colossians 1:28,29 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Are you involved with a church or the body of Christ is some way that is helping you fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples? We all can’t do everything but we all can do something to proclaim Christ to the world. When you are doing His will then His power will mightily work in you. You will find that as your are united with other Christians for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will in the world that you will bring joy to others and you will find your purpose in life.

Philippians 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

The Lord will make known to those who follow Him, the mystery of His will for their lives, which is in accordance with the kind intention which He purposed in Christ. The Lord is kind and His will for you is good.

Ephesians 1:8b,9 In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

So, having done all of these things, how do you know God’s will for your life? The Lord says that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. As you go in the direction of God’s will for you then it will become clearer and clearer.

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.

His peace will rule in your heart as you follow His direction. If you find yourself being confused then you must stop and not go any further in that direction but you need to wait again on Him. The Lord is not a God of confusion.

I Corinthians 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace

Don’t try to make something fit. If it is God’s will then it will be a good fit for you. He made you for a purpose and as you fulfill the purpose for which you are created then you will be secure and have joy and meaning in life. You will not need to compete with others or feel that you need to impress others but you will be secure in where He has you.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Don’t forget to give Him thanks for the purpose for which you are created. Giving thanks to the Lord keeps your focus on Him rather than on the purpose. The devil will do anything to get our focus off of the Lord and onto something else, even if it is something good like His purpose for our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone.  It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.

Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be  ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.

Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.

II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.

Hebrews 11:6 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

 

A Life that Loves the Light

We will either love the light or we will love the darkness. Our hearts are deceitful and if we don’t come to the light then we will love the darkness so that our heart will not be exposed.

John 3:19-21 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

The Lord has given us this opportunity to come to Him so that the light might expose our evil hearts so that He might clean them so that we might have a clear conscience.

Hebrews 10:22a let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience

Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you and clean your conscience so that you might be able to live before Him with a clear conscience. All of us sin and need to be cleansed. It is the person who does not come to Him for cleansing but continues on in their evil ways that will suffer shipwreck in regard to their faith.

I Timothy 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

If you will come to Him and have your conscience cleaned then you need not fear the judgment day when your own actions and conscience will testify against you when the light is shown on you because you refused to come to the light earlier and be cleansed.

Luke 8:17 For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

If you have come to the Light then continue to follow the Light that you might stay in the light.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

He who walks in the light will not stumble but will have the light of life.

John 12:35,36 So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”

When we walk in the light then we will have fellowship with one another and His blood will cleanse us from our sin.

I John 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Those who love the light will come to the light that their deeds will be made known as having been wrought in God.

 

A Life that Does Not Give Away Intimacy

There is a saying, “If the milk is free why buy the cow?”. There are certain gifts that have been given to us and that a young lady should not give away except to the right person at the right time. She should not give away her body to men but it is to be saved for her husband alone and only should be given to him after he has taken her in marriage. Marriage is a man’s commitment to a young lady to love her, to cherish her, to protect her, to provide for her and ultimately to lay down his life for her. Many a man will make promises to get what they want and then once they have gotten their desires then they never fulfill their promises. Engagement is not marriage and the same rules for dating apply during the engagement period.

I Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition but it is a 100/100 relationship. Each one gives all of oneself to the other so that they might become one. However, what is right before marriage is wrong after marriage. It is right to abstain from sexual relations before marriage and wrong to withhold from each other after marriage. There is a saying that girls that do “it” before marriage don’t want to do “it” after marriage so it is foolish for both to compromise God’s standard of morality. God is not mocked. He has His standards for our good and we are foolish not to abide by what He has said.

Galatians 6:7,8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Moral excellence is the root of true love in a marriage and it is expressed through waiting until after the wedding to have a physical relationship. If two people are morally excellent in their standards then they will trust each other after they are married. If a man and woman compromise before marriage then the trust will not be there as it could have been had they waited.

II Peter 1:5-7 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

If you have compromised God’s moral standard then it is not too late to repent but there needs to be repentance and though that may be hard it is necessary. Repentance means that you are turning your back on your sin and turning to God. However, you must keep turning to the Lord so that you do not fall back into your old ways. You also must flee from temptation. Temptations are often much stronger if you have tasted of the pleasures of that particular sin. You do not miss what you have never known.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

You can, by God’s grace, keep His standards of righteousness. God is faithful and will provide a way of escape to the one who calls on Him and puts their trust in Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

 

A Life that Chooses Good Friends

You will become like your friends therefore the most important decisions that you make in life after choosing the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior is who will be your friends. Choose good friends and you life will be blessed. Choose bad friends and your life will be filled with grief. This is one of the most profound choices that you will make in life. The companions with whom you walk through life will influence your other decisions.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Choose only to be with wise men and run from fools. A fool is someone who lives as if there is no God. They may even say that they believe in God but if they are living as if there is no God then they are living like a fool. Run from them.

Psalms 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

All of us came into the world with a foolish heart. We must turn away from our foolish ways and turn to the Lord with all of our heart. Don’t look at what a person says but at what they do. It is by their deeds that people distinguish themselves.

Proverbs 20:11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.

In the same way, the kind of friends that you attract will be the kind of people whom you are attracted to. Is your life pure and right? It is not only by their deeds that a person distinguishes himself but also by his type of speech.

Proverbs 22:11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

Choose only friends who desire a pure heart. Those who want their heart to be pure will be discerning about where their eyes go and what their ears hear. What goes into  the heart of a man is what comes out of him and what comes out through his mouth is what defiles him.

Mark 7:20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.

It is those who have a pure heart who will see Jesus.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Our greatest need in life is to see God for all that we do in life is a response to our view of God. If our view is right then our conduct will be upright. If our view of God is twisted then we will be crooked in our ways. If we choose friends who do not know God or do not see Him then they will lead us astray and we will forget our God.

I Corinthians 15:33 Do not let anyone fool you. Bad people can make those who want to live good become bad.

Choose good friends and choose to be a good friend to others. Friendship means speaking the truth in love.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

If your friends are good then they will point you to Jesus and help you stay on the right path. Sometimes they might tell you what you don’t want to hear but it is much better than to have friends who will always tell you what you “want” to hear. Our hearts are deceitful so we need others in our lives who will help us in our times of weakness and temptation. The temptations will pass and the blessings will follow if we are faithful.

Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

 

 

 

 

A Life Free From the Wrath to Come

Wrath is coming to every soul who does not turn to the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness for their sins. We have all messed up and we know it. We may try to say that there is no God and we may try to deny our guilt but when we are honest with ourselves then we can say that we realize that there is a God or at least we will acknowledge that at one time we did believe that there is a God. Also, if we are honest then we will acknowledge that we have messed up and that we have guilt in our lives. If there was no guilt then there would be no need to say “I am sorry” and the person who refuses to say “I am sorry” is the most stubborn and miserable of all creatures. So, therefore, we have messed up and we have guilt. The Bible says that wrath will come.

Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

If wrath is being stored up because of our stubbornness and unrepentant heart then the answer is to yield to the Lord and to repent of our ways in our heart and in our actions. Repenting means turning from your sin and turning to God. Yielding to the Lord means to surrender to Him and His Lordship in our lives. When we surrender and repent and turn to Jesus Christ then He becomes our Lord and Savior. We are also saved from the wrath to come.

Romans 5:8,9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

The Lord loves us and His wrath is poured out on unrighteousness and sin. He wants us to experience His love and does not want us to experience His wrath.

Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

For this reason he sent Jesus Christ to take His wrath that we deserved so that we might experience His love rather than His wrath.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Have you put your trust in Him so that you will have eternal life and not have the wrath of God abiding on you? Will you turn from what you have been trusting in the save you and believe in Him today?

I Thessalonians 1:9b,10 how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

A Life that Is Wise

Wisdom is applying God’s instructions and commands to your life and living accordingly. Wisdom is living out God’s Word and living by God’s ways in every area of your life. All of our life is connected in one way or another. What we did yesterday affects our life today. What we will do tomorrow will have an impact on us and will bring us life or death to our soul and our body.

Proverbs 9:12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

What goes into our mind influences our decisions just as what goes into our body affects the health of our body. If you want to be mentally and emotionally healthy then you must guard what goes into your mind and heart.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

You may not want to apply God’s Words to you life just as when we were younger we did not want to always eat vegetables but if we ate what was right then our body would function right. If you will live by God’s Words, whether you like them or not, then you will function right in your mind and your heart. You will be healthy mentally and emotionally. You will be very pleased with the outcome. You will not be disappointed.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

You will not always understand God’s ways and that is okay. You do not need to understand them to do them just as you may not understand how a computer works to use it. The more you keep God’s commandments then the more you will understand them. However, understanding comes after obedience to them.

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.

Wisdom will bring life to your spirit, soul and body.

Proverbs 4:5-9 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

If you do not forget her, forsake her nor turn away from the words of her mouth then wisdom will guard you from making wrong decisions. Love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom will help you marry the right person and teach you how to have a great marriage. Wisdom will prevent you from making stupid decisions on your job, in relationships and in every other area. The number of mistakes that you have made in life is an indication of how often you have needed wisdom. How many regrets do you have and how many missed opportunities? Again, wisdom will keep you from these things. Often people will say after great pain that they are a better person for it but if that is so then they would want other people to go through the pain so that they could learn also. You are not a better person for the mistakes that you made but you are a better person for the lesson that you learned. However, how much sweeter life would have been if you had known the right thing to do so that you would not have had to learn the hard way. Who wants to live a life of tears and mistakes? You are not stronger at the broken places but you are more vulnerable where you have fallen so you guard the broken places much more.

Proverbs 4:7-9 The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

How much sweeter life is with wisdom. When you get wisdom and understanding them you will realize what a precious treasure that you have. You will prize her and embrace wisdom. Wisdom, in turn, will exalt you and honor you. She will place on your head a garland of grace and present you with a crown of beauty. Wisdom will give you that beauty that nothing else can compare to and you will radiate from the inside to the outside. All desirable things can not compare with wisdom.

Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

Proverbs 8:17-21 “I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

Do you love doing life? Are you excited about what each day holds for you? Are you excited about the future? The Lord wants you to live life to the fullest and you can only do this by wisdom. Just as in a sport, the athlete who gets better and better enjoys the sport proportionately. So it is with life, the more wisdom that you have then the more you will look forward to each day and enjoy life.

Proverbs 10:23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.